Harassed by upper-caste Hindus, Dalit student kills himself in Rajasthan

Pradeep Meghwal, a Dalit student at a constituent college of Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agricultural University (SKRAU), allegedly ended his life by jumping in front of a moving train after facing constant casteist abuse from upper-caste Hindu classmates.

Meghwal who is a student of BSc Agriculture, is a resident of Karkedi village in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district.

In his final note, Meghwal alleged his five classmates — four boys and a girl – were harassing him, Times of India reported. The accused are Monika Chaudhary, Rajkumar Bijaraniya, Shishpal Jewaliya, Ravindra Froda and Gagan Abhijeet Singh.

The deceased’s brother Ranjeet Meghwal has lodged a complaint with the Bichwal police, stating that the five were harassing Pradeep Meghwal over his Dalit identity and his bond with Monika earlier.

According to the newspaper, Pradeep narrated his ordeal to his family members when he visited them last month. He even tried to end his life on 18 August. He was consoled and sent back to his college by his family members, who told him to concentrate on his studies.

Ranjeet Meghwal said that the college authorities were apprised of the matter.

“A complaint was submitted to the college authorities, following which a committee was set up to conduct an investigation. A fine of Rs 4,000 was slapped on the five people and the complaint was closed,” he said.

“The group assured the committee not to harass Pradeep again but in reality kept harassing him… I am a Dalit and the accused are influential persons of higher caste. I am afraid that the police will not take any lawful action. The accused are still at large,” the Times of India quoted Ranjeet as saying.

The police have not started investigations into the case.